Hey, guys. Long time no see. I must say I didn’t exactly plan for there to be such a long hiatus, but the last couple months of the year generally are a difficult time for me, (more on that later..) and I didn’t have much energy to write.
This is the first post in a series I’m calling (you guessed it!) “On Attachment.” Attachment issues are something that many Autistic people face, including myself. Once again, this post (and series) will be something that is more related to the way that I experience my Autism, as opposed to generally, across the spectrum.
I’ve experienced this since I was a child – forming strangely close relationships to inanimate objects, more so than people. For this reason, times like the holidays, and in my case, Christmas, are quite hard for me.
Around this time of year there’s always a sense of “out with the old, in with the new”, in my environment at least. In the days leading up to 25th December, I’m encouraged by family members to throw stuff away, or donate items that I no longer use to charity. Over the past few years my family has become more understanding about this and don’t complain too much if I leave mostly everything as it is, but the expectation to get rid of some things is still there.
Then comes Christmas Day. I receive new things. Sometimes I receive things to replace items I already own, and that comes with its own set of challenges.
This year, it was my phone.
I got this phone in 2013, after my old one (which, incidentally, I had had since 2009) died. It was blue, my favourite colour, and had a lot more features than my old one did. It could take photos and videos, and I could use more sophisticated apps than my old one could manage.
I’ve had it for three years, and it’s safe to say that it has been through a lot with me, as weird as that sounds. It’s been to different countries with me, it’s been to school with me. It’s a comfort item. Something that soothes my anxiety when out in public; a reminder that I can always leave and go home. I’m used to the way it feels in my hands, and the fact that, in order to increase the volume, you have to jam the volume button extra hard due to its stiffness.
I didn’t ask for a new phone this Christmas, but my contract on my old one was up and besides, my old phone has been on the fringe since last year. I got a newer model, and was happy and very grateful.
But there was a sense of doom there, too, as melodramatic as it may sound. Because I knew I would have to give up my old phone.
I procrastinated changing the sim card for an entire day before my family questioned me, and a couple of hours ago from the time I am writing this, I finally changed it over. My phone is now officially the new one.
And I felt awful. I felt like crying.
To me, losing a comfort item like this, or otherwise, replacing it, is sort of like the death of a pet. I know I’ll get over it in due time, and it definitely doesn’t compare to other potential problems, but it still hurts. I still have to go through a grieving process.
I’m in that grieving process right now. And maybe I won’t be tomorrow, or maybe I will, but either way it doesn’t really matter because I know that, eventually, I won’t be.